Saturday, August 13, 2011

I Am Now Guilty of ......


Promoting my own self-interest.

Here is a copy of the text I sent out to Gringo Tree a few minutes ago.
"Downtown El Centro Penthouse for rent.  Building built in 1970.  Unique downtown apartment with 45‘ balcony on top (6th floor).  Wonderful view.  1600 sq ft, 2 large bedrooms, 2 bath.  Elevator.  Half way between Parque Calderon and Tomebamba River. One bathroom is newly remodeled. The kitchen and other bathroom are NOT attractive, but completely functional.  New paint and refinished hardwood floors.  Covered laundry area on roof has separate water heater and hook ups for washer and dryer.  Furnishings include: stove, refrigerator, microwave, cookware, dishes, dining room table and chairs, couch and easy chair, bedding, towels, area rugs and custom window treatments.  Queen size bed available if needed. Rent for either $600 or $700 a month.  $700 rent includes monthly condo fee, Internet, satellite TV, LCD TV and DVD player, $600 includes only condo fee.  Renter must furnish own router.  Minimum 6 month lease.  $500 security deposit required. No pets.  Smoking on balcony only.  In the middle of El Centro on Luis Cordero at Honorato Vasquez.  Call Clarke at 080307654 or email"

Here is a link to some pics of the apartment.
Not all the 'fine furnishings' are included.  
These pics were just really handy.

I will return to my normal dumb-*ss postings with the next post.

Life is sweet,

PS:  I guess we've decided what to do with the apartment.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Secret Revealed

Re those pics of the 'little secret' post of a few days ago:
Those pics were a few months old.

These pics are from a couple weeks ago.

We moved in 6 days ago.

The dogs have a little yard .....
they are little dogs.
Brennie is happy.
Life is good.

Kind of wondering what to do with the apartment we own in Old Town.

Life is sweet,

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Observations: Traffic Control

All Right Now ........

Like most people here, we walk a lot.  It is one of the benefits of the climate, layout of the city ,,,,everything.  It is one of the healthy aspects of living here.  I have already blogged about the dangers of crossing the streets on foot while relying on the little green walk signals ....... that is simply for the naive and suicidal.  I have already covered this in other entries as have other gringos. Old news. Nothing new here.  I have covered the busses in blogs (as have others).  Nothing new here either.  Cabs?  Very cool for $1.50 - $2.50.  Nothing new here either.
HOWEVER.  In addition to walking, busses and cabs, I also:
- ride a bicycle.  
- ride a motorcycle.  
- drive a car.
Not a whole lot of us gringos do (all 3 of) these.  So maybe there is something new here.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Numero uno:  The intersection of Ave Galapagos and Remegio Tamariz.  Only one stop sign here (approaching from the south).  Those approaching from the north or east do not have stop signs or traffic control of any type.  Interesting?  Certainly.  Dangerous?  Maybe it is just my gringo perspective, but it seems dangerous to me.  The only safe place seems to be the guy stopped at the stop sign (that’s where I want to be).  All other traffic seems to be living on the edge.  The guy at the stop sign also has a ring side seat  if interested in blood sport.  Could probably set up bleachers here and sell tickets.  Maybe even better than the Mike Tyson / Evander Holyfield Fight.  You know, the one where Tyson ate a little bit of Holyfield’s ear.
Numero dos:  Ave 10 de Augusto and Death Row (or something).  This one is cool.  Last few times I was there, the lights were stuck on both red and green.  What I mean here is that both the red and green were on simultaneously.  Usually, if the lights are goofed up, you expect to be looking at EITHER the red OR the green ....... but BOTH? Burning steadily.  Is it just me?  Or is that confusing and possibly dangerous.  You sure as h*ll don’t want to stop, as you would probably get rear ended. Maybe another place to sell tickets?
Numero tres:  All the traffic lights along Ave 12 de Abril.  But first, you gotta understand the nature of South American drivers.  It is hard to explain in less than a full blown essay.  But sometimes it is mind boggling to see what stunts are pulled simply to gain an advantage of one car length.  Now imagine a major road with all the traffic lights out.  A couple days ago none of the lights at all were working.  I was in the car.  I am so proud of myself.  I gave no quarter.  I was the most aggressive rig on the road.  I plowed through all the intersections regardless of the needs or safety of others.  I was an animal.  I didn’t even bother honking the horn ........ I kind of figured that would be taken as a sign of weakness.
Numero quatro:
Any and all on-ramps to the Auto Pista (sp?).  There are stop signs at the end of all the on-ramps.  Right where you merge with the traffic.  Nobody stops at these.  Nobody.  Even my driving instructor told me to run these.  Anyone stopping here is guaranteed to be rear ended.
- - - - - - - - - 
Any time you leave town to go somewhere, you must drive through the mountains.  No exception.  That is because Cuenca is in a valley at 8000+ feet surrounded by mountains.  All of the roads out of here are mostly 2 lanes and winding.  So that means ...... lots of passing and lots of curves.  Our car has a strong V6.  Most cars here are 4-bangers.  So I do a lot of passing.  Remember the part about lots of curves?  I think that the Brennie appreciates it that I scream for her when doing the blind curve / passing thing.  Anyway, it amuses me to scream.
Life is sweet,

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We Have a Little Secret

Thinking "Earthquake" aren't you?

Life is sweet,